SULLIVAN TWP. — Holly Rhodes, Casey Midlik and Madi Tata put the “Medina” in the 25th annual “Hoopla” Medina County All-Star Game on Wednesday night.
The three Bees combined for all but three of their team’s points through three quarters and 68.5 percent for the game as the Dark beat the Light 38-35.
Shooting guard Rhodes earned MVP honors with 11 points, three rebounds and two assists, while Midlik, who played small forward in what was essentially a three-guard lineup, had nine points, five rebounds and won the 3-point contest prior to the game. Center Tata added six points, nine rebounds and six blocks.
“You come out here and don’t know any of the players, so having the three of us play together helped our chemistry,” said Rhodes, who went 3-for-8 from the field, 2-for-5 on 3-pointers and 3-for-4 at the line.
Paired with players from Cloverleaf, Brunswick and Buckeye on the Dark team, the three Bees had 22 of their squad’s 25 points through three quarters, the lone non-Medina field goal coming on a 3-pointer by the Blue Devils’ Cassie Steets.
“It was super fun,” Tata said. “I thought it was going to be hard playing against my rivals for my entire high school career, but they’re all awesome girls. I had a lot of fun.”
The Light team, which consisted of players from Wadsworth, Highland and Black River, led 29-25 after three periods, but three girls who hadn’t scored to that point — Buckeye’s Sarah Dash and Cloverleaf’s Jessie Lindemeyer and Emily Civittolo — helped the Dark squad rally for the victory.
The Light pulled back within 36-35 on a three-point play by Highland’s Anna Rose Wiencek with 1:23 to play before Tata and Rhodes both split a pair of free throws for the final margin.
“We’re all seniors playing our last game of high school basketball for Medina County,” Tata said. “We got competitive at the end, but it really was all for fun.”
Lindemeyer finished with two points, five rebounds and five assists for the Dark team, while Civittolo had all four of her points in the final quarter and Dash added a 3-pointer.
“(Having three Medina players) helped our flow and connection, but I think we all clicked well with the rest of the team,” Tata said. “A lot of people contributed and made hustle plays. We couldn’t have done it without them.”
Wiencek had 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Light, while Wadsworth’s Taylor Wyatt had 11 points and Grizzlies center Madison Gilger contributed eight points and 10 boards. Wadsworth’s Olivia Thompson finished with five points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Midlik had the highest score in both rounds of the 3-point contest, putting up 13 points to advance to the final and then beating Brunswick’s Farrah Benner 14-12 for the title.
“It was kind of nerve-wracking because I was the only one shooting; plus, it was timed,” Midlik said. “My goal was 15. I got one less, but I’ll take 14.”
Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @RickNoland.